Guest cancels during stay but stays in residence

in
Silver Spring, MD
Level 10
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So, thank goodness this didn't happen to me, but I am curious how other hosts would handle this.  A story related to me involved a guest who booked for a week in a house and then, four days into the stay, suddenly cancelled.  The cancellation message came in around 2pm when the owner of the home was at work.  She apparently sent the usual "sorry it didn't work out" message and wished them the best.  Not sure if any specific language was exchanged about them leaving immediately, but it sounds like it was implied that they would do so.

 

So, the host arrived home from work about 6PM and found the guests still in the home, not packed at all, apparently having dinner acting like they were still registered guests.  The host of course asked what they were doing and they replied that oh, they would leaving around 8 or 9 the following morning.  I am not sure how she handled it after that, but apparently they stayed in the house for a free night and left around 10AM, even later than they said.

 

My understanding of people who cancel during their stay is that they must leave immediately.  I had only one case of this, where a couple of mine, a few months ago, cancelled at around 3PM when they weren't even in the house, then came back around 6 to collect their things.  Because of that experience, and this story from this other host, I am thinking of adding a notice to my check-in message that if someone cancels during their stay the door code will be immediately turned off and they will be required to leave the house without delay, maybe even suggesting that they should not cancel until they are already out the door so they don't get locked out.

 

How would other hosts handle this?

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4 Replies

Re: Guest cancels during stay but stays in residence

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

well, the “night” is counted from check-im to checkout hour. 

If check out is at 12 and the guest cancels at 2 pm then the following night is still  counted and charged. 

They cancelled at 2 pm so the following night is still charged

Re: Guest cancels during stay but stays in residence

in
Silver Spring, MD
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0- Actually that is not the case.  Per the AirBNB website:

 

If your guest cancels after they’ve already checked in:

  • They’re required to leave your space as soon as they cancel
  • The terms of your cancellation policy will still apply
  • You must make any security deposit claims within 48 hours of the original checkout date, which you can check in your Transaction History

So, actually, if a guest cancels during the stay, they must leave the residence immediately.  I think the guest from the woman's house probably was thinking the same way you were and thought they weren't required to leave until the following morning.  This is exactly why I am thinking of adding something in my check-in message about this.

Re: Guest cancels during stay but stays in residence

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

@Anthony608 thank you, good to know

Re: Guest cancels during stay but stays in residence

in
Brevard, NC
Level 10

@Anthony608 @Branka-and-Silvia0 

This happened to me last fall. A couple checked in on a Wednesday and that night decided they needed to cancel and told me via Airbnb messaging at 10pm that they had found another place that they could occupy beginning Friday (surprising since it was during our busy season).  I tried to solve their stated problem, but also said of course, I understood, whatever you need to do and provided Airbnb's instructions for cancelling from their end. I never want someone in my house who does not want to be there.

 

So Thursday morning while at work I get a message that says the guest has cancelled, and an email that showed my new payout amount that would be sent to me (adjusted to 2 nights--Wed and Thurs). Ok, sure, I expected that, back to work. Then Airbnb got in touch via a personal email from CS. Ok weird... that had never happened before... with the woman's story (quite a bit different from what she had told me...). CS also mentioned that they were helping the couple find another place to stay. I said, no they already have a place to stay starting Friday and were staying at my place until then. CS said "no you must be mistaken, they have already cancelled." I said yes they cancelled, but they are staying tonight since their new place is not available until Friday. Then the CS rep called me--wow that was a shocker. He was very nice, but basically told me I needed to get the guests out of my house immediately since the reservation was over and Airbnb was not supporting it.

 

So, I messaged the guests and relayed the CS message. They didn't respond for a few hours, but then packed up and left Thursday afternoon--I went by and checked after work.

 

The woman said she was confused because they had paid for 2 nights and thought they could stay 2 nights. However the charge for the second night was actually compensation to me for their cancellation during the stay based on my cancellation policy (flexible): "If the guest arrives and decides to leave early, the nightly rate for the nights not spent 24 hours after cancellation are fully refunded." Yep, confusing... 

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